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Our view

The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future
DANIEL KAHNEMAN – Author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

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Changing the Conversation
21st Club presents a collection of insights for football club boardrooms

Changing the Conversation

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  • 19 Sep 2019

    The price to pay for talent

    A lot is discussed about player wages and the eye-watering sums they receive in compensation for their performances on the pitch. Recently released salaries in Serie A revealed Cristiano Ronaldo earns €31m per annum – 74% more than the second-highest earner – 20-year-old Matthijs de Ligt (€8m).
    But how important is our league when it comes […]

  • 13 Sep 2019

    Coaching Boosts

    From prior research, we know the sole act of changing a coach does little to guarantee performance impact over the long run at an average club.

    However the right coach in the right environment can prove to be significant, particularly over shorter horizons of a couple years. Such increases in performance can boost a club into […]

  • 05 Sep 2019

    The fixture skew

    We know that the league table at the start of the season is skewed by the quality of opponents that we have faced, and we often accordingly urge caution. But rather than ignore the table altogether, the use of predictive models can help us better assess results to date and, crucially, potential results to come.

    In […]

  • 30 Aug 2019

    Talent factories

    Powering international trade is the idea of “comparative advantage”: a country benefits by concentrating on the commodity that it can produce most efficiently, exporting this good, and then using the proceeds to buy in the commodities it is less efficient at producing. Even if another country is more efficient all-round and can produce everything at […]

  • 21 Aug 2019

    Doing more with less

    We all know that money has a big influence on our team’s performance; we can only dream as high as our budget allows us to do. Nevertheless, there are still teams that punch above their weight. What lessons can we learn from the most efficient teams in the world?

    Our Efficiency Rankings enable us to compare […]

  • 15 Aug 2019

    Reacting to Week 1 results

    Manchester United are back, Lampard is too inexperienced, Maupay is a bargain, and so on.

    After forming opinions all summer long we often completely reject them after watching just one performance of the new season: but should we? Do we overreact to early season results, or do we sometimes actually underreact?

    The betting markets help us monitor […]

  • 08 Aug 2019

    A Proven Strategy

    Football sometimes provides too many blueprints for success. In any given season, a team we’re looking to emulate might succeed for many different reasons, so it helps to look at how a typical benchmark club achieves success, and use that as a basis for our strategy.

    For example, we are often asked by boardrooms of promoted […]

  • 01 Aug 2019

    The 30,000-foot view

    How much is Eden Hazard worth? Real Madrid’s view is that he’s worth £90m, and it seems to be in line with the transfer market and media consensus. But why is he worth that much? The question we should be asking ourselves when signing a new player is: how much will he improve the team? […]